UIS Programs: Ethiopia Uganda

Course Description

This is a study-abroad course. During the month of June, students will be introduced to basic concepts in the field of international social development. They will use an interdisciplinary approach, focusing their study of social development on cases from Ethiopia and Uganda. In July they will spend over three weeks in Ethiopia and Uganda. While in Ethiopia, they will spend seven days engaged in a short-term service learning project. While in Uganda, they will attend the 18th biennial conference of the International Consortium for Social Development.

Course Objectives/Learning Outcomes

By the end of the course, participants will be able to: identify emerging issues in social development; identify issues and challenges in social development in Ethiopia and Uganda; and discuss and analyze opportunities for social development. Students should also develop a general familiarity with the situation in Ethiopia and Uganda, understanding something of the human history, natural history, current economy, and current political system in each society.

Associated with these goals are the following Course Goals:

1) Students should become able to use a couple dozen basic survival phrases in Swahili and Amharic.
2) Students should understand the tensions between: (a) conservation and the preservation of land and species diversity; versus (b) using available resources to create wealth and reduce poverty.
3) Students should be able to explain various answers to questions about “why is there so much poverty” and “what can be done to reduce poverty” in Uganda and Ethiopia.
4) Students should be able to explain how the societies in Uganda and Ethiopia handle issues around the treatment of women, children, and ethnic minorities.
5) Students will have a good understanding of the role of international aid and international non-governmental organizations in human development in Ethiopia and Uganda.
6) Students will be able to analyze the roles of the state, private companies, non-governmental organizations, and large multinational companies in creating a healthy civil society and sustainable prosperity in Ethiopia and Uganda.
7) Students will be able to describe some of the main issues around social justice and fairness in the Ethiopian and Ugandan societies.
8) Students will be able to describe issues around sustainable land use and forest management in Ethiopia and Uganda.

Course Procedures and Expectations

The class begins with three online course sessions of eight days in length each (June 3 to June 10; June 11 to June 18; and June 19 to June 26). During these sessions, students will read assigned books and articles, and will listen to recorded lectures prepared by the instructors. Students will respond to the readings and lectures with posts in a discussion board. Students will write two short papers: one will be a personal reflection on the readings and lectures and following discussions; the other will be a paper about personal thoughts and reflections on the upcoming travel to Ethiopia and Uganda.

From June 27th to July 25th the class will be traveling.
June 28th and 29th we will be in Rome. One day will be devoted to visiting organizations involved in development aid to Ethiopia and Uganda. On that day we will visit the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations, the International Fund for Agricultural Development, and the world headquarters of Caritas Internationalis. The other day in Rome is a free day. You may want to do some tourism stuff on your own.
We will be in Ethiopia from July 1st through July 11th. During our first two days in Ethiopia you will be given a tour of Addis Ababa, and you will visit the headquarters of the African Union, the Organization for Social Science Research in Eastern and Southern Africa (OSSREA), The Inter Africa Group, and Addis Ababa University.
From July 3rd through July 10th you will be involved in service learning in or near Addis Ababa. You will be staying with Ethiopians or expatriates who live in Ethiopia.
On July 11th you have a free day in Addis Ababa, and you will use some of this day to write a summary and reaction to what you experienced during your week of service learning.
On July 12th we fly to Entebbe (Kampala), Uganda, and go from the airport to Kibale Forest National Park for a safari focused on jungle/forest habitats and chimpanzees and other primates. We may be staying at the Makerere University Biological Field Station on the nights of the 12th, 13th, and 14th.
July 15th through the 19th we attend the International Consortium for Social Development’s 18th biennial conference in Kampala, Uganda.
July 20th we return to Addis Ababa in the evening.
July 21st we visit Abidjatta-Shalla National park and Senkele Wildlife Sanctuary near Shashemene, spending the night at Lake Langano or Awassa.
July 22nd we return to Addis Ababa and take a late night flight returning to Rome.
July 23rd and 24th you have free days in Rome, and you can write up notes on your final paper when you are not seeing the sights of Rome.
July 25th we return to Springfield (arriving rather late at night).
July 26th Use this day to type up your final paper.
July 27th Final papers are due. This is the last day of the class.


There are five written documents you compose for this class. You are evaluated on the quality of these five documents

Your work in UNI 460 should result in the production of nine documents:
1) A paper reviewing what you have learned and thought about as you read the assigned readings, listened to assigned lectures, and took part in online course discussions in the month of June. This reflection paper should demonstrate to readers what you have learned (description of the knowledge you have gained) and show that you have considered what you have learned, analyzing claims and interpretations of various authors and classmates, integrating the different ideas and approaches you have encountered, and sharing your own evaluation and reflection related to the issues we encounter in our readings, lectures, and discussions.
2) A Pre-travel paper of expectations: You write about what you are hoping for and anticipating in the upcoming trip. You write about your fears and anxieties as well as whatever opportunities seem most exciting to you.
3) A Service-Learning Journal. During your time at the service-learning site (July 3rd through July 10th) you must keep a journal describing, for each day, what you have done and observed. Each day’s observation and description must be followed by a daily analysis and reflection. The journal must be written for July 3rd through July 10th, but we strongly encourage everyone to keep the journal all through the trip. If you write your journal by hand, and do not want to bother with typing it out when you return to the USA, you are welcome to scan its pages or photocopy them and send them to us that way.
4) A report of your learning experiences at the ICSD conference in Kampala. You are expected to describe and discuss at least five sessions you attended, what you learned at these sessions, and what further thoughts occur to you as you reflect on your experiences in these sessions. This report may be hand-written, and submitted to us as a PDF or a set of JPG or PNG images if you scan the hand-written pages, or you may send photocopies of your hand-written report. You are also encouraged to type out the report and submit it to us by July 27th if you prefer that to scanning your hand-written notes and reflections.
5) A final report in which you sum up your experiences in this class. You must refer to your initial readings and discussions from June, your experiences in the service learning in early July while in Ethiopia, and your experiences at the ICSD conference. You should address the course objectives and your own expectations and hopes for your own learning (as reported in your pre-travel paper of expectations). In particular, you should compare the reality you witnessed in Ethiopia and Uganda to your expectations before you took this course and the ideas you had after reading the assigned materials and listening to the assigned lectures in June. You also need to describe your personal growth and learning in the course, evaluate your effort, and discuss how this course may have changed your thinking or your values. This paper is due on July 27th. As we expect you to write it in about eight hours on July 26th and 27th, while you are experiencing the jet-lag and culture shock of reintegration into American life after spending over three weeks in Africa, we do not expect polished grammar and style, nor do we expect lengthy reports. A decent effort should result in a thoughtful and authentic description and analysis of about 2,000-3,000 words (about six to eight pages).

The first two documents are due on June 29th at 5:00 p.m. The last three documents are due at 5:00 p.m. on July 27th.